When Nigerians took to the street to protest the incessant killing of youths in the country by the police, they were forced to abandon the protest after hoodlums hijacked it.
One will be left to wonder if these hoodlums were not also feeling the pangs of insecurity and threats to life in the country.
But it is not hidden that hoodlums in Nigeria are political tools.
Part of the demands of the protesters was that the salaries of the police be reviewed and a good pay be assigned to them.
After the failure of the ENDSARS protests, a lot of things have happened thereafter. This include the freezing of protesters’ and their sponsors’ bank accounts, denial of freedom, manhunt and a lot of others.
But while what these youths were calling for is their right, the government of the day doesn’t see it as that. They see it as a threat to their dominance.
The Nigerian youths demanded also that the pay of the senators and house of representative members be reviewed to allow for more money to be available to be spent on the economy.
The Nigerian senators are the highest paid in the world and they do next to nothing with the money except for personal enrichment and aggrandisement.
They get paid fat allowances and are getting fat at the expense of the poor Nigerians.
Each senator earns ₦13. 5 million as monthly ‘running cost’. This is in addition to a monthly consolidated salary of ₦700, 000.
This is in a country where the minimum wage is just ₦30, 000 and many states are not even paying it.
Now that the call for the reduction came, senate president Ahmed Lawan has said the money they even collect presently is a little portion of the budget.
That means if given more they will even collect it.
Lawan said Nigerians should rather ask for accountability and the output of the lawmakers instead of questioning the jumbo pay received by lawmakers.
He said the funding that the National Assembly receives is inadequate and as a result, “many lawmakers struggle to do things by themselves. ”
He said, “I’m not advocating for more than necessary but what we have today is inadequate and you find members of the National Assembly struggling to do almost everything by themselves. That does not get the best out of us.
“Can we debate the functions of the National Assembly rather than talk about the jumbo pay? Where is the jumbo pay? We should be looking for value for money.
“So when we always debate on “jumbo pay” instead of what should be the functions and hold us responsible for what we are able to do or what we are not able to do; ask for what you think we should be doing rather than saying close the Senate or close the National Assembly. Do you understand the implication of this?
“In a budget of over N13 trillion, the National Assembly will have a budget of N125 to N128 billion. What percentage is that? It’s less than 1 per cent. So where is the remaining 99 per cent?
“And yet, instead of trying to see how much of the N128 billion will be utilised by NASS, what will be the output from NASS and how useful it will be to the Nigerian public, we are saying ‘cut the funding to the National Assembly, it’s too much, it’s bogus’. “